Technical Skills - Creative Inspiration - Exciting Destinations

Sri Lanka: "Paradise Island"

Wildlife, Culture, Landscape

December 2 - 13, 2019

10 participants


Sri Lanka = "Paradise Island" … And there are many good reasons for such a label. Join three fine art photographers to experience the outstanding diversity of the island. Oliver Klink, Harsh and Arti Aggarwal will take you to the iconic places of Sri Lanka, the more remote ones, and the exclusive ones rarely visited by tourists. Harsh and Arti find the Island so compelling that they are planning to retire there. The journey will be a combination of culture, landscape and wildlife.

With eight designated World Heritage Sites, Sri Lanka offers a wealth of culture, temples, bazaars, caves, tea plantations. We will guide you to these sites at the right time of the day to create magical images. You will meet people we have befriended over the years, who will share their pride of their culture and heritage.

Intermixed with the culture, we will spend time in their National Parks to photograph wildlife. One of their National Parks, Yala, is well known for having the highest concentration of leopards in the world, boasting a total of 35 cats. This number may seem small, but remember these cats are an endangered species. Out of the 215 species of birds that call Yala home, six are endemic to Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Sri Lanka Wood-pigeon, Crimson-fronted Barbet, Black-capped Bulbul, and Brown-capped Babbler. The herd of elephants in the park numbers anywhere from 300-350 individuals. There are 44 species of mammals, several of them both endemic & endangered: Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, Sri Lankan Leopard, Sri Lankan Elephant, and wild water buffalo. Furthermore, there are 46 species of reptiles, five of them endemic to Sri Lanka. These incredibly unique species can be seen nowhere else. We will travel in 4x4 with just three people per jeep, so you have access to both side of the vehicle to photograph.

The highland and coastal landscapes are spectacular to photograph. At the right time of the day, you can have beam of lights over terraced tea plantation, sunset shining on the famous fishermen on stilts, soft light on the local workers at the fish market. The creative options are endless.

We will also visit an exclusive racetrack, where your skills at photographing galloping racing horses will be put to the test. And you will also spend quality time with the Asian elephants at a rescue center. This experience will mesmerize you. For people that want to go even a step further with the elephants, we are planning an extension to creatively photograph elephants with humans. You will gain exclusive access, but we have very limited seats. So don’t delay your registration for the extension!

This adventure is designed not only to guide you to the most photogenic locations carefully planned for the best light, but to aid you in mentally visualizing a scene before capturing the decisive moment. Our aim is to raise your awareness and spark your creativity, so that you go home with images to be proud of and stories that will resonate with our peers. Remember, you will be on “Paradise Island”. We are looking forward to hosting you in Sri Lanka.

Oliver, Harsh, Arti.

Elephants Private Photoshoots (December 13 – 16, 2019)

Pictures copyright © 2019 Harsh Aggarwal & Oliver Klink

Registration (Widlife, Landscape, Culture): $6,300 (SOLD OUT)
Single supplement: $800

Balance payment due by August 1, 2019

Questions: email Oliver Klink or call (408-910-6701)


Oliver Klink has been photographing in Asia for the past 15 years. He has visited many minority cultures and wildlife in Mongolia, China, Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka and more. He received the coveted 2018 Best B&W photographer of the year by Dodho Magazine and has published an award-winning book, Cultures in Transition. “Sri Lanka is a really unique place. It offers multitude of photo opportunities, cultural enrichment and wildlife sighting. Truly truly one of kind places.”

Harsh and Arti Aggarwal are based in Agra (Taj Mahal), India. Harsh is a professional photographer and Arti a coveted travel logistician and tour guide. In 2012, they got married. Harsh has many interesting tales to narrate about this wedding shaped by the tourism industry, and of course, it includes hilarious stories about shopping experiences with his mother in law. A duo team, Oliver has traveled with for the past few years.”Sri Lanka is such an incredible place, that we could retire here!” .”

Local staff members (Guide, drivers, helpers) who enrich our stay with the most current information, special activities, and “ways in” to places you only dream about!

- Photographing the beauty and diversity of the "Paradise Island"
- Wildlife, culture, landscape
- Photograph the "hidden gems"
- Photographing daily “life” at local families
- Model shoots
- Daily review of images (emphasis on “what else can I do”)
- Brainstorming sessions (theme, story telling, portfolio, hero shots)
- Post processing and workflow (efficiency, accuracy, quality)

- 12 days of guided photoshoot
- Accommodation, Meals, ground transportation
- Special photoshoots
- Instruction booklet emailed before the workshop
Not Included :
- Transportation to and from Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Personal expenses, alcoholic beverages
- Travel Insurance
- Extra night(s) in Colombo
- Tips to local staff

Double Occupancy: $6,300
Single Supplement: $800

Deposit (non-refundable):
$900 (Double Occupancy)
$1,300 (Single Occupancy)

Full payment due by August 1, 2019 (payable by check)

Deposit: $900 ($1,300 for single)

Terms and Conditions

- Weather can be challenging. Be prepared for moody sky.
- We are eating freshly cooked local cuisine with local meat, vegetables, and soup (not spicy).
- We are traveling on highways and local unpaved bumpy roads.
- However, the photographic opportunities are incredible. It is an amazing adventure and photographic experience.

Where: Sri Lanka
When: December 2-13, 2019
Who: Oliver Klink, Harsh Aggarwal, Arti Aggarwal, Local guides
Airport: Colombo (CMB)
Accommodations: Hotels
Weather: 50 – 90F. Moody Sky

Cost: $6,300 (+$800 single supplement)

Workshop details for Sri Lanka "Paradise Island"


12 days of guided photoshoot and reviews
December 2-13, 2019
Note: Itinerary and activities might change based on weather conditions

Day 1 (December 2): Arrival day in Colombo Airport (CMB)
- Transfer to the hotel
- Welcome dinner

- Day 2: Negombo- Galle
• Sunrise tour to Negombo fish market and lagoon
• Drive to Weligama. Ambalangoda mask factory
• Sunset Photoshoot of Weligama Stilt fishermen

Day 3: Galle
• Sunrise - Optional whale watching Tour
• Visit Galle Fort and Market walk
• Sunset photoshoot with Stilt fishermen in Koggla

• Day 4: Galle - Udawalawe- Yala
• Sunrise at fishing village
• Drive to Udawalawe transit Home
• Drive thru local villages on way to Yala

Day 5: Yala National Park
• Early morning safari in Yala NP. Leopards, elephants, birds
• Sunset at Kirinda temple

Day 6: Yala- Nuwara Eliya
• Early morning 2nd safari at Yala NP. Leopards, elephants, birds
• Drive to Nuwara Eliya. Historic sites.

Day 7: Nuwara Eliya
• Sunrise at the Race Track.
• City and Tea plantation tour. Tea factory visit
• Visit Sita Amman temple (optional)

Day 8: Nuwara Eliya- Kandy
• Train to Hatton
• Evening Cultural dance show at Kandy club

Day 9: Kandy- Sigiriya
• Morning visit to Temple of tooth relic
• Visit Asigiriya monastery
• Drive to Minneriya and visit historical village

Day 10: Sigiriya
• Sunrise at lion rock viewpoint. Model shoot
• Optional: Climb of Lion Rock
• Visit Pollonuruwa
• Afternoon Safari at Minneriya NP. Elephants, monkeys, birds

Day 11: Sigiriya – Pinnawala
• Sunrise at Dambulla Caves
• Drive to Pinnawala • Elephant photoshoot

Day 12 (December 13): Elephant Photoshoot • Elephant photoshoot
• Drive to Colombo Airport
• NOTE: Extension for the Elephant Private photoshoots starts in the afternoon
• Conclusion of workshop

What to Bring

Upon signing up for the workshop, you’ll receive a detailed coursebook describing what to bring, recommended camera gears, booking your flight, extra activities pre or post workshop.

Clothing: (temperature ranges from 50 – 90F)
- Comfortable and warm layered clothes (neutral color recommended)
- Sandals, hiking shoes
- Hat, sunglasses, and sun screen
- Rain gears/windbreaker
- Knee pads for low angle shooting

Camera Equipment:
- Camera with extra batteries and memory cards
- Landscape and culture: 16 - 200mm
- Telephoto lens for wildlife shoot: 200-400mm
- Tripod (optional but recommended for Sunrise and Sunset shoots)

Other Equipment (Optional):
- Small notepad (notes, observations, …)
- Laptop (with power cord), memory card downloader
- Post processing software (Lightroom, Photoshop, plug-ins)
- External hard drives (backup)


This workshop includes:
- 12 days of guided photoshoot
- Best places to photograph landscape, wildlife and culture
- Accommodation, Meals, ground transportation
- Small group (maximum 10 people)
- Daily reviews (including tips on post processing, file management, idea to build portfolio)
- Two photography instructors, one travel assistant, local guides, special staff (elephant handlers, helpers)

Not Included:
- Transportation to and from Colombo (CMB)
- Personal expenses, alcoholic beverages
- Travel Insurance
- Extra night(s) in Colombo
- Tips to local staff

Travel Recommendations:
- Plan on arriving in Colombo no later than December 2. Your return flight can be booked after 10PM on December 13
- We can assist with booking extra nights in Colombo (pre and post workshop) and airport transportation

Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance Suggestions:

Here are a few recommendations but please browse around as services and prices vary

- Travelex Travel Select (800) 228-9792
- Travel Guard or Travel Insurance Services
- Travel Insurance Services (Walnut Creek, CA) (800) 937-1387
- Atlas International Insurance (HCC Medical Insurance Services)
- TEN (Travelers Emergency Network) Emergency Evacuation Coverage
- Medjet Assist 1-800-527-7478

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